North Korea tensions continue to weigh on global stocks

14 August, 2017, 04:31 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • North Korea protest

The Swiss franc on Wednesday held near the day's highs after posting its biggest single-day rise against the euro since the central bank removed its cap on the currency in January 2015.

KEEPING SCORE: The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 7 points, or 0.3 percent, to 2,467 as of 10:19 a.m. Platinum gained 0.7 per cent to $973.40 per ounce after hitting its highest since April 21 in the previous session. The consumer discretionary index was one of its biggest losers with a 0.47 percent drop.

The US is against North Korea's nuclear weapons but Pyongyang says it will not give up on its nuclear deterrence unless Washington ends its hostile policy toward the country and dissolves the US-led United Nations command in South Korea.

US President Donald Trump, on Tuesday, threatened to unleash "fire and fury like the world has never seen" on North Korea if Pyongyang did not retreat, while the North threatened an attack on Guam.

Shares of Macy's tumbled 10.2 percent and Kohl's was down 6 percent as the companies continued to report a drop in quarterly same-store sales, stoking concerns that their turnaround may still be a long way off. It's still the highest it's been since May.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index inched up by 0.1% in July after coming in unchanged in June.

On Thursday, New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley said he expects sluggish US inflation to rise over the next several months while the hot labor market gets even hotter.

Seoul shares hit 11-week low amid selling by foreign investors following Trump's fresh warning to North Korea. The sector was the biggest decliner on Thursday. Ten-year United States yields dropped 4 basis points to 2.242 percent and German equivalents fell 3 bps to 0.44 per cent, their lowest since 30 June.

White Helmets members shot dead in northwestern Syria
"7 SCD volunteers were killed by unknown armed men in Sarmin SCD center, Idlib, in the morning", the White Helmets said. Volunteers of the famed rescue service were shot dead during an attack on their office in the town of Sarmin. .


Healthcare stocks were among the big gainers. Copper rose 4 cents to $2.94 a pound. TMX Group Ltd was up 3.5 percent to C$68.23, while Quebecor Inc added 2.9 percent to C$44.60.

J.C. Penney became the latest retailer to suffer the consequences of weak earnings, diving 16.6 percent after reporting a US$62 million (S$84.5 million) loss in the second quarter.

Biotechnology, tobacco, and transportation stocks also saw considerable strength, while steel stocks extended a recent move to the downside.

Traders sold off utilities stocks. TripAdvisor shares shed $2.70, or 6.8 percent, to $36.85.

OIL: Benchmark U.S. crude lost 12 cents to $48.47 per barrel on the on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Brent crude, used to price global oils, gained 10 cents to $52.24 in London.

CURRENCIES: The dollar slipped to 109.04 yen from 109.26 late Thursday. The stock fell $166 to $1,882.94.

Sterling touched a three-week low against the dollar as a mixed bag of output and trade data did little to alter investors' downbeat view of an economy struggling to meet Bank of England targets. Britain's FTSE 100 was down 1%. The index bounced off its lowest closing level in six months.

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